Press Archive


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Coal Forum applauds U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

“We have been eagerly awaiting this news ever since President Trump promised us a few months ago that he would continue to change Washington’s attitudes toward the coal industry,” said Coal Forum Co-chairman Chris Hamilton.

The West Virginia Coal Forum is an organization representing business and labor in the coal industry.

In Pruitt’s official filing to repeal the Clean Power Plan, he states EPA lacks the statutory authority for such an over-reaching regulation that is fraught with economic pitfalls and practical impossibilities. In an analysis by the National Review, the editorial board correctly summarizes the Clean Power Plan: “The combination of severe limitations on carbon dioxide emissions and incentives for adopting alternative-energy schemes was intended to achieve exactly what Barack Obama had previously promised to do: ruin the coal industry.”

Hamilton agreed with that analysis.

“We have been saying for years that the Clean Power Plan was nothing more than an orchestrated campaign to destroy coal mining in the United States, particularly in Appalachia,” Hamilton said. “Repealing the CPP is the right thing to do. EPA’s actions today are further proof that we now have an administration that understands the massive role coal plays in the American economy and electric grid and that the agency also finally understands the limits on the power granted to it by Congress.”

For additional information, contact the West Virginia Coal Forum at (304) 957-2306. 

"Anything that will help bring coal miners back to work is welcome news to the West Virginia Coal Forum. The governor's bold plan gives the federal government the chance to help coal miners return to work and alsobring much-needed stability to the eastern electric power grid. We areeager to work with Gov. Justice on this plan as more details become available."

By Chris Hamilton
Co-chairman, West Virginia Coal Forum
Senior Vice President, West Virginia Coal Association

Morgantown City Council is starting down a dangerous path.

In late June, the Council began consideration of a resolution to have the city of Morgantown support the Paris Climate Accord’s overall emissions reduction goals.

This action flies in the face of what is best for West Virginia and the nation. Let’s remember that President Donald Trump officially paused American compliance with the Accord while he renegotiates better terms for our country.

If the resolution ultimately passes, Morgantown will join other cities that have taken independent action on climate change via the Paris Accord regardless of the economic consequences.

Let’s be clear about this: Morgantown’s action serves as an affront to every single coal miner, manager and vendor that works tireless to keep coal mines running to produce low-cost reliable electricity for Americans.

The West Virginia Coal Forum kicked off it 2017 tour with June events in Morgantown and Charleston and made it clear to the state that coal mining is here to stay.

“On the Road: 2017 and Beyond” provided updates on West Virginia’s coal industry performance, and featured presentations by Gov. Jim Justice, Senate President Mitch Carmichael, the dean of West Virginia University’s and mineral resources program, representatives from the state’s leading power companies, industry experts and leading coal researchers.

“These have been excellent events to kick off the Coal Forum’s 2017 meeting series,” said Chris Hamilton, co-chairman of the Coal Forum, which is an organization representing business and labor in the coal industry. “Our coal industry is ready to soar. We at the Coal Forum felt it was time to take a new message out on the road so the public can hear first-hand about all the incredible opportunities in store for West Virginia’s coal industry.”

CHARLESTON — Speakers at Thursday’s Coal Forum discussing a WVU study predicting a continued longterm decline in the state’s coal industry, the possibility of converting coal into transport fuels and updates on coal-fired power from power plants. 

The West Virginia Coal Forum presented 2017 and Beyond Thursday at the Culture Center with future meetings planned in Wheeling, Logan and Bluefield.

West Virginia coal mines are on track to produce nearly 50 percent more coal this year than last, but in the long term they need help from the state Legislature, Bill Raney says.

Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said mines in the Illinois Basin have taken market share from West Virginia in the power generation sector. Neither Illinois nor Indiana have coal severance taxes, he said.